|| George VI said:
“The history of York is the history of Britain itself”
and as you step back in time through the city walls and
walk along the Shambles it’s easy to see what he
York has a rich history and there are many jewels hidden
away on every corner. From the birth place of Guy Fawkes to the house of martyred saint Margaret Clitheroe,
the fascinating history of this city is all around and
rings out when the bells of The Minster sound.
York has been a prominent city for thousands of years
but how did it come to be so?
The journey of York begins long before history was
written down and filed away.
The Roman name for York was Eboracum,
based on a native British name for the ancient site.
When the Anglo-Saxons arrived in the north from Germany
and Denmark in the 6th century they made Eboracum the capital of Deira, a Northumbrian sub-kingdom.
In 865 AD the Danes captured the north and in 876 Halfdene
the Dane made Eoforwic the capital of the Viking
Kingdom of York. Later in 918 AD a mixed race of Norwegian-Irish
Vikings settled at York and for many years York was subordinated
to the Viking stronghold at Dublin. Viking influence can
still be detected in the street names of York, where the
suffix ‘gate’ as in Stonegate or Goodramgate
derives from the Old Norse ‘gata’ meaning
road or way. Stonegate follows the course of a Roman road
through the city and Goodramgate is named after Guthrum,
a Viking leader.
The Vikings interpreted Eoforwic, the Anglo-Saxon name
for York as Jorvik. In the late Viking
period it is thought that the name Jorvik was shortened
to something resembling its present form, York and in
the medieval age the name York was generally used, although
an independent form ‘Yerk’
is known to have existed at this time.
Today the early forms of York’s name are still
well known and although the Viking Kingdom of York no
longer exists, its natural successor Yorkshire - ‘the
county of York’ still takes its name
from this ancient city.